Ambassador Photo Diary – Jay Dahlia

Jay of @jinxdahlia has crafted a gorgeous feed, documenting her adventures and the delicious food spreads she created. We caught up with her to hear some juice behind-the-scenes details from her shots. Read on for more about her love of wandering, those gorgeous plant-based meals and more.

Jay, we know from your feed that you love to adventure! Can you tell us more about how you plan your adventures, how often you like to get away and what your next destination is?

Jay Dahlia

I really do! Travel and adventure is really important to me. It grounds me and instills a sense of peace and calm. I live a very busy day-to-day life, so to get away and explore a new place or an old love is extremely rejuvenating.

To me, this photo represents the epitome of tranquility on my recent trip to Norway. It was around 10 o’clock at night and the sun was just setting on the ocean’s horizon. My partner and I, and some of my Norwegian family who we were visiting, took a small boat out to a tiny island in the middle of the sea where this little old lighthouse stood. We had to climb a ladder up a very steep side of the island to reach the top, where we all gathered to take in the beauty around us and watch the sun set. My partner snapped this photo of me and I remember thinking how happy I was right there in that moment.

I try to plan a decent overseas getaway 1-2 times a year, with some little local trips in between. A big South American trip is in the works, and maybe a little Bali or Tasmania trip on the side.

 

Taking some time out to catch your breath and enjoy the present is so important. What is your favourite place to relax and reflect? And do you have any tips for ways to enjoy the moment? (We guess those cute foster kittens are great for some downtime!)

Jay Dahlia

For some serious down time and relaxation, Bali wins. Ubud in particular feels like the world gave us this blissful sanctuary for the sole purpose of healing tired bodies. There’s sometimes nothing better that having your own little cottage in the Ubud jungle, with an infinity pool, fresh local fruit to snack on and the soothing sounds of the jungle to lull you to sleep.

Sometimes though, just a local overnighter is a wonderful pick-me-up. I like to find cute cabins to stay at around the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast hinterlands, or camping somewhere remote. Usually when I head to places like these I’ll be able to find a mountain nearby for a nice hike then a dip in a waterfall – to me, this is pure relaxation.

I’m also not going to rule out the power of home and my couch hehe. When I’m having a “not-leaving-the-house” kind of day, my partner and I like putting together a nice spread of food, gearing up a bunch of movies, and curling up on the couch with our cats (and yes, usually any foster kittens we are taking care of haha). This is particularly lovely on a rainy day.

I recently went on an absolutely amazing road trip around the whole of Iceland in a cute little campervan my partner and I hired. Iceland is a somewhat isolated, unusual and ridiculously scenic country – everything I love and admire. This photo I took was after a full day of exploring, we pulled over in our van to have some dinner and watch the sky and landscape change colour as the sun set and twilight drew near (it never goes completely dark in Iceland during the summer). We were in the middle of nowhere in an extremely isolated part of Iceland, completely alone, and with complete silence. It was so peaceful and beautiful. I would love more days like this.

 

Indulging is so important, and by the looks of this incredible brekkie-in-bed, you know how to do it right! Where do you look for inspiration when you’re craving something indulgent yet still nourishing that doesn’t leave you feeling too guilty afterward?

Jay Dahlia

 

Instagram is always a great platform for finding inspiration and also for when you want to provide inspiration for others. There are so many amazing creative accounts providing mouth-watering food ideas you just have to try your own hand at. I’ve always had a creative mind so sometimes I visualise something I want to create to eat and then head to the kitchen and see if I can produce a replica of my thoughts haha.

But I never feel guilty about what I eat. It’s all about balance and being conscious of where your food comes from. I eat generally healthy all time but allow myself indulgences from time to time which I can enjoy and appreciate.

This sweet French Toast for example was a lovely weekend morning treat after a long hard week at work. The recipe for this delightful meal was from Animal’s Australia “Taste for Life” cook book which is jammed packed with delicious vegan recipes.

For a normal week day breakfast I’m usually more of a savoury person and avocado or hummus on toast is always a favourite. I also love my smoothie bowls in the summer as they are so quick and easy to make, and then oats in the winter – both topped with lots of seasonal fruit.

 

Ahhh avocados, nature’s spread! Snacking can be an incredibly enjoyable past-time, not to mention necessary for days when you’re on-the-go. What are your go-to snacks that are fast to prepare and leave you feeling satisfied and energized?

Jay Dahlia

I do not know what it is about avocados but they like a drug and need to be in my life at all times haha. They are just so delicious and versatile. I love making guacamole or chocolate mousse from them, adding them to baked goods, spreading them thick on toast with lemon juice and pink Himalayan salt or just eating them straight from their skin. Have you ever mashed avocado with potato? Life changer!!  That’s kind of what happened in this picture – I scored avocados for 49c each which is almost unheard of, and then went to town with guacamole and just eating them as they were.

Aside from avocados being my go to snack, I’m a self-confessed dip-a-holic. There is always some sort of dip in the fridge at my house and nearly every time I come home at the end of the day, I pull the dip out to tide me over before dinner.

I love experimenting with different flavours and combos when making dips. Hummus is always super easy and you can’t really go wrong with it. You can also mix it up by adding things like spinach, basil or smoked paprika. I also LOVE a good Baba Ghanoush. My ultimate dipper for these dips are seaweed rice crackers or snow peas yum!

 

Keeping active can be tough with busy schedules, but you seem to have established some great ways to keep fit, namely through adventure-based exercise. Can you tell us a bit more about your approach to keeping active and perhaps some tips for our community?

 Jay Dahlia

Keeping active is so important for your physical and mental health, but it’s important that you find out what sort of activities you like best to make sure you STAY active. I have always loathed the gym, but forced myself to go to in order to undertake some regular exercise. Then I started hiking and found my calling. I hike and climb mountains regularly and when I travel, I always look up in advance where I can find the best hiking routes. I’ve climbed and trekked up some pretty crazy mountains but it’s always been so invigorating. To reach a summit, particularly a tricky one, there is an element of euphoria that I can’t obtain from anything else. Since I’ve started doing this my stamina has improved tenfold and now the gym ain’t so bad.

What’s more fantastic when doing a hike, is when you’re gifted with a wonderful waterfall at the end or like in this picture, a delightful natural hot spring. At the end of my Iceland trip I knew I had to hike into this valley of natural hot springs for one last hurrah. The hike was only around 1 hour each way and not too strenuous, but my goodness when we reached the location we all but tore off our clothes and dived in. Even though it was the middle of summer in Iceland it was still so very cold, so the warmth of these hots springs were extremely soothing on our tired traveler bodies. The scenic surrounds of lush green added to the appeal as well, and it took all of our strength to leave this dreamy place.

 

Thanks Jay!

 


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